Celebrate Pancake Day

February sees us celebrate what is arguably one of the best days of the year: Pancake Day! Celebrate it the 1930s way with this recipe we found in the archives from 1936.

If made carefully, pancakes are particularly delicious. There is, however, no need to limit them to one variety, for they can be modified in several ways. The chief criticism levelled against the homely English pancake is that it is invariably made too thick and leathery as a result. Luckily, the following recipe can be relied upon to give successful results every time.


4oz National Mark flour (plain flour)

Pinch of salt

Butter or lard for frying

1 National Mark egg (large free-range egg)

½ pint of milk


Sieve the flour and the salt into a basin (bowl). Make a well in the centre and place the egg in it, mixing it into the flour as smoothly as possible and adding half the milk gradually. Then beat hard to produce a perfectly smooth batter and to introduce as much air as possible. Stir in the remainder of the milk and put the mixture into a jug with a lip.

Whilst it is timesaving to use a large frying pan, small pancakes are best. Frying pans with a diameter of about 5”-6” make attractive looking pancakes. Have ready some butter or lard; put it into the frying-pan and allow to get hot.

Just sufficient butter or lard should be retained to cover the bottom of the pan and the surplus poured into the basin (most people use far too much!). Pour in the mixture and cook slowly. When the pancake is brown, turn it by tossing or using a flat knife. Tossing is simplicity itself once the knack has been acquired. Served straight from the pan with lemon and sugar, these pancakes are delicious.

If you’d like to take your pancakes to the next level, try making a pancake sandwich. Have ready your chosen filling – warmed ham; lemon curd; puréed spiced apples; red currant jelly; marmalade; or mincemeat – and when the pancakes are cooked, spread it on top before placing a second pancake on top. Serve at once. Whichever filling you use, it must be hot otherwise it will cool the pancakes too rapidly.